By Alan Rabinowitz
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Additional resources for An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar
But as humans evolved from scavengers to predators, their killing apparatus now contained more highly efficient projectile points made into spears and knives, along with specialized tools for butchering and hide processing. 8 million years ago, might have been the first truly predatory human species, and evidence suggests that he scavenged carnivore kills from wild predators. Scavenging may have played as important a role in human foraging as did hunting in early hominids, possibly resulting in some of the first interactions between early man and large carnivores, including jaguars.
The development of farming, along with the more sedentary lifestyle necessary for such an activity, occurred independently in at least seven The First People of the Jaguar 29 different parts of the world at the end of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. In the Americas, with climatic fluctuations stabilized by about 8000 BC the South American highlands became a center of early agriculture. The potato, originating in southern Peru, was cultivated as early as 10,000 years ago. Maize or corn was first bred and cultivated in the valleys of southern Mexico about 7,000 years ago.
It had taken me several attempts before learning how to build a trap that was strong enough to hold these cats. Then I came up with the idea of building one in pieces that could be hauled far back into the jungle and assembled on-site. The capture of Xamen Ek had been in the most remote trap I had yet placed out in the jungle. The young jaguar’s eyes followed my every move as he flattened his body, as if trying to meld into the ground. Only when I got close enough to the trap to inject a sedative into him did he suddenly lunge at me, roaring, teeth bared, throwing his body against the iron bars of the trap.
An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz